Reflection on my tutor’s feedback (Part 5 and Assignment 5)

I consider my recent feedback to be a very positive one, I received a lot of praise from my tutor with only a few things to reconsider.

My tutor noted that my skills and confidence improved throughout unit 5. She also complimented me on thoroughness, attention of detail and amount of work I put in. 

My observation that software knowledge is a tool to enable creativity was correct. 

My tutor noticed that I took on board her previous comment about reworking a design which resulted in great progress. 

My research was in depth and on topic. I observed relevant points and described them in a way that my tutor approved. Acknowledging the view of my pavilion from the racecourse showed my consideration of the design from all aspects. 

My tutor noticed that certain examples from my precedents feed into my design, but I had practical aspects of my location in mind. My tutor said it was the point of the precedent research: to inspire my design and it happened in this case. I got a ‘well done for speaking to suppliers’ as they are an invaluable source of knowledge on materials and their processing.

My tutor especially liked my cardboard pavilion model with scale people. She mentioned that making a quick model helps understand the design better, especially if I am stuck on drawing phase. Model gives 3D dimensions, and I can physically see how things go together and look from different aspects. Making my final model certainly helped me to understand what I want and what I do not want in my design and really aided my understanding of side elevation of my pavilion.             

 My software skills are improving (Adobe fresco and photoshop) and continued experimenting with them is encouraged. My tutor particularly liked my pavilion drawing that I did for materiality exercise. Sadly, I lost some of the designs elegance when I was making dimensions decisions as I was worried about sturdiness of the structure. It seems that as I am improving with creative software my creativity improves as well. Additional drawing exercises (such as life drawing) will help me to ‘see’ as drawing is about the ability to observe. My tutor noted that adobe fresco seems to be working for me. I think it is because of ease of selecting colours exactly as intended and erasing errors does not leave ugly marks as it would on the sheet of paper. Also drawing over images (such as a picture of my model for amended visual) helps me get drawings more correct. Therefore, the outcomes seem more elegant. I continue discovering new features in the program as I go along. I really enjoy digital drawing, more than by hand.

I received some pointers for the future. When designing the public space, I should include all users (e.g., incorporate wheelchair turning point, make sure my entrance is wide enough and seating at correct height). Now I know minimum wheelchair turning circle has diameter of 1500mm. Internal diameter of the bottom ring is 1600mm in my design, and it is a little tight, especially if we consider another user (or a bench) that may be inside. My tutor made a comment about my seating being too high, but that was intentional, like ‘lean on’ benches we see at bus stops. I did not feel there was enough space in the interior to have a bench, also people seating down take even more space than standing/ leaning. It all must be reconsidered as I am not sure if aging population will be comfortable leaning back on something that is not next to a secure wall. The point of this bench was so people could lean on it and gaze upwards while inside my pavilion.

My technical drawings start to look and feel as professional drawings.

I was reminded to add ground line to elevations (so they are not floating in space). My tutor also advised me to annotate the technical drawings. There is plenty of space around and people rarely look at the title block, so I included some additional information and added them to my section drawings.

My tutor suggested to try and take photos of the interior of my model, to show users interior view. It was a little awkward to get the camera in but not impossible. What a great piece of advice!  

My tutor said that she enjoyed my final visual, but my site photo choice was not the best as the red bin was stealing the attention. I redrew my pavilion from different perspective (using adobe fresco over a photo of my model) making the beams more slender and placed it on a different photo from my previous site research. I absolutely agree with my tutor, this visual is better at ‘selling’ the design.

My tutor said my level of reflection is ‘really good as it shows my critical and measured approach’. It is great that I was already suggesting alternative designs when I was not too happy with all aspects of my design. I had also been told to not be too hard on myself, as I am just starting my learning journey.

My tutor mentioned I correctly reflected on jumping back and forth between tasks in design process, she said I will experience it again in next part of the course. I am excited to be starting next unit soon.

Reflection on technical drawing task for exercise 3.4, part 5, unit 1

I really like how wires on technical drawing on screen convey ‘moire’ effect I had in mind. It would look even better in shiny stainless steel in real life.

One of the most difficult and satisfying tasks in this exercise was drawing the top rings in side elevation. It took some time to work out what it should look like.

The entrance in plan view was also really tricky. Initially it looked like this:

I realised that I never included the material of legs – it’s stainless steel.

I’m afraid I encountered a ‘design fail’ in my technical drawing. Side elevation wires have a gap that is not attractive. To fix that I would need to change the design of the entrance and/ or positioning of the wires. Unfortunately time restraints did not allow it. I feel I should have discovered it at previous exercise (design development). Someone once said that design development can go forever and I think I have a perfect example here. If I had a time restraint like this in ‘real’ design life, I would probably submit what I have to the client and propose the following versions around the entrance.

I particularly like version 2. The entrance is circular in the top and goes straight down the sides (rather than narrowing like in original design). I think wires in ray like position would give even better moire effect as well.

Another solution would be to do what I did in model building. I attached the wires to the back of the entrance and therefore they went ‘lower’ on the frame.

During the process of technical drawing I decided that some of the wires attachments around the entrance would be different to the rest of them. I opted for a different mount, a vertical type, that would have to be installed at the same angle that the wire meets the frame.

It’s all very complicated and I feel that more research and development work is needed.

I also realise I didn’t do all wires as I should have. I.e. I didn’t use guidelines to place them on relevant spots on the frame. Instead I just spread them evenly in elevation views even though it would not look like that. They would be closer together towards the edges of the view and further apart in the centre of the view. It took such a long time to draw and position all the wires. I think I spent around 40 hours on technical drawing task. I was thinking lines, I was dreaming lines… I kept thinking of contextual study about lines from previous exercise. I was very grateful for the existence of guidelines, without them this task would have been impossible.

I feel I should have started with ‘rough’ technical drawing, followed up by scale model building and then refined technical drawing.

I think in design work you would normally jump back and forth between such tasks as you refine the design. Here I did them once and in specific order.

Exercise 3.2 Materiality – further information and changes

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how my pavilion will be put together. I called Honeysuckle Bottom Sawmill and they said you cannot bend thick pieces of wood and that they don’t provide curved braces (despite their website saying otherwise).

After this news I was thinking of other ways of creating wooden circles for my structure. I found a local furniture restoration company and I spoke to the owner who has wealth of experience in steam bending wood.

He advised me that it is not possible to bend thick pieces of timber. For my thickness of 200mm x 200mm he would slice them lengthways into 1mm slices and then steam bend and then laminate them together. I asked about drilling and attaching things to the laminated side (top being plane of wood, side where you see slices). I found out it should not be a problem.

He also said that oak is not the best choice for bending and that ash is much more suitable for this purpose. I decided to change my wood choice to ash following his advice.

I am a little worried about the context. I selected oak for reasons specified in my Materiality sheet and gave all the reasons why… Ash is a local tree, I have one (according to a tree surgeon) at the bottom of my garden…

References:

Handsome & Co: School of Fine Woodworking & Design (2021) Timber bending services. At:  Handsome & Co. | Timber bending services. (handsomeandco.com) (Accessed 12/04/2021)

Biggs, T (2021) Steam Bending Wood. At: Tobias Biggs Furniture Restoration – Home (Accessed 12/04/2021).

Peckham Jewellery Pad Box Design / Leading to title box in AutoCAD

In late 2020 I needed to make a drawing for our carpenter to build these boxes at work. Normally I would just give him one but we need them daily and they started to fall apart. So I decided to practice my new skills and draw what he needs to do.

This along with photos of the old box were explanatory enough for him to build them to my specification.

The images above are of final version. After I gave the contractor the initial drawing, I was asked what is the error margin. I did it with comments on maximum an minimum dimensions that were important for the design to work (I needed to measure the space in storage for these boxes and the jewellery pads to ascertain this). In the mean time I created CAD drawing based on one of the former measurements (just for fun and practice of it).

Today I was trying to work out how to create and insert title box, I decided to work on my old Peckham Box drawing. Here it is, a CAD drawing with title box.

Peckham box CAD drawing with title box

Here is what the old box looks like:

I am still awaiting new boxes for Peckham, in the meantime had some built for another shop. I was pleased my drawings were sufficient to make something.

Project 1 Reflection on site selection and analysis (Project 1 Exercises 1.2 – 1.4)

I found these exercises helpful in selecting and learning about my site.

All information I gathered was useful. I enjoyed learning interesting facts about my area. I feel that the exercise that was most beneficial to my knowledge was researching the history of Tattenham Corner. I never had much interest in horse racing so it was great to find out that Tattenham Corner is not only a village but also a bend in the racecourse. I was particularly pleased when I found the website with old aerial photos (https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/) showing sites previous use. I must remember it for my future UK location research. I found all the research useful, even the weather patterns got me thinking about my future pavilion design and comfort of the user. Right now I feel that the design should have some reference to the horses or racing while taking advantage of the elevation and view from the site.

1st quick practice drawing

As recommended by my tutor I made my first quick drawing of an everyday object. It had to be very quick as I drew it on the plane and the object I drew belong to another passenger, so I couldn’t know how soon it will be moved. I had a very good view of it. Due to the location the drawing took place I had limited media (automatic 0.7HB pencil and precision eraser). The drawing is fairly small as for practical reasons I used a small notebook. The object is a small plastic cup with a plastic straw in it. It was an interesting experience trying to capture the transparency, smoothness and light reflections on the item using just a pencil. Eraser helped creating the shine. I concentrated on relying the shine and transparency. It felt a bit odd to draw on a plane, being surrounded by people able to look over my shoulder. But soon I forgot about them and enjoyed the task. Really nice activity to pass the time. It’s a shame that the arrangement was moved as there was a water bottle too, and I would have drawn it if I had a chance. I could have also added the surrounding; the fold up table and back of the seat. Maybe on my way back!

Exercise 3.1 One Point Perspective additional reflection

I went for a walk today and took these to photos that’s show how the view closer to the viewer changes depending on the eye level height. The difference is quite dramatic

I tried to find my eye levels and vanishing points by drawing freehand lines (just though it may be a good practice to understand perspective better). I can see the height difference very clearly here.

London Design Week 2020 (Chelsea Harbour)

I visited London Design Week today. I spent most of the day here and haven’t even scraped the tip of the iceberg of the suppliers that are based here. It was also useful and informative to chat to exhibitors that are here only for the week. I spoke to every one of the temporary exhibitors and learnt lots about their companies and their products. I took part in a discovery tour: a group of us visited certain showrooms and we were told by owners or designers about the products they supply. I never visited Chelsea Harbour before, I found today very informative and I am planning to go back to do more research here.

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